I’ve always had some difficulty writing blogs. I feel like a blog should be written only from an absolute place of authority; a place where you only teach others how to do something potentially they do not already know how to do. Old school thinking?
So, my intent with this blog is to do a little of both: teaching and learning. For you, it may serve as a chance to know IDS a little better. Curiosity is one of the best gifts the human race has. It leads to more learning and beautiful, intense connections between human beings. One teaching and one learning. Then the listener becomes the teacher. It’s a perfect circle. I will share what I learn every day. Some very small and seemingly insignificant subjects and others, that equip me with major life lessons. Hopefully in between I will be able to teach a few things as well. Because I know graphic design, I will more-than-likely involve that in a lot of the “teaching” segments. However, as I’m learning, a blog can be a gorgeous melting pot of anything and everything. So, here goes nothing…(forthcoming in my next writing). I welcome your thoughts, comments, and criticisms. Like I said, I’m here to learn as well!
This entry brings an opportunity to learn and perhaps, grow. I’ve been on a “crypto-binge” as of late. Playing and solving cryptograms as a wind-down to my day. For those of you who may not be familiar with the game; a cryptogram is a word game where a paragraph or quote is solved by substituting real alphabet letters for the hidden letters. For example, an “A” might actually be represented as a “Z” in the puzzle (clue). Here’s a simple cryptogram I just made up: RZCV Z PEEW WZQ. I’ll hold on to the answer for fun — just in case anyone wants to give it a try.
So, more to the point, it occurred to me that cryptograms/sudoku/crossword puzzles, etc., may be popular for a couple reasons:
1.) Competition. Don’t we love to compete!? I know I have a competitive streak in me. I keep it in check, but it’s still there. Maybe it’s part of a fight or flight response (I want to secure my place in the world) or the survival-of-the-fittest component, (If I exercise and strengthen, i will live longer).
2.) Compartmentalization. It’s a way to “fix” life, if you will. That’s a bit dramatic, but I do belive that because we can’t control so many things in life, i.e., death, these games help us to gain some level of control. In the world of puzzles, there is always a right way and a wrong way. There is always a definitive answer. This is so rare for us in life. How are the stocks doing? Am I gaining or losing money? Will I retain my current work position in this economy? Will my love continue loving me back? Will I be healthy five years from now? Will I be alive five years from now? It’s a throw of the dice. Yes, we can make some positive choices that will head us in the right direction, but when push comes to shove, how much is really up to us?
There is a third reason these riddles keep us occupied. Maybe we quite simply enjoy them. I would like to think this is the true reason I like cryptograms. They’re just a bit of fun to relax to. And I suppose that in itself is a very good reason.
We can all use more fun — no matter the guise.
If you haven’t jumped on the social marketing analytics bandwagon yet, here’s breakdown of how those services are organised and how they potentially benefit your company:
The first step is to create an incentive or develop some kind of promotion. Based on that incentive, a PURL (personalised URL) will be created. This will have your branding, but will be directed toward your potential client (using their name) with offers or promotions that are unique to their industry. Your offer must be rewarding enough to get your contact to go to the PURL to fill out a brief information page and poll, thereby awarding them with the coupon.
(Make your buyers aware of the offer using direct mail or email programs.)
Then, (again based on the perceived worth of the promotion) using social media, the consumer will spread the offer to their friends and family in facebook, twitter, email, etc. and it will hopefully go viral.
The gem in all of this is that you get to track responses, analyze those responses, and strategize your next campaign based on the data that is collected. You can get poll results, export data, and learn the valuable statistical details that determine your next marketing techniques and targets.
When you’ve collected the data that dictates your next campaign, market properly utilizing consistent and appropriate graphics.
What is your business modus operandi and is it working for you?
Business processes and practices are essential in moving forward in a sensical and useful manner. Consider exploring the steps I will put before you as not only a creative process for your businesses’ marketing and design needs, but also as matrices to apply to other business challenges as well. As a graphic designer, I use creative processes all the time, in fact, for every project I have.
Steps to determine project objectives:
Use these questions to determine design criteria:
Create and Develop your concept
A creative solutions is:
Develop your concept by doing these:
If you are currently having design firm developing a project for you this will be helpful in opening the lines of communication and if it’s a DIY project, now you know where to start and finish! It’s a lot to digest at once, but each segment is truly necessary to make certain designer and client remain on the same page and that the project is an absolute success! I would love to answer any questions or comments!
Recently, a very loyal and successful client of mine asked my opinion on augmented reality used in advertising. I was chagrined to admit that I didn’t much about it. It turns out that very few do. Not including a publication that he advertises in, who asked him to address the potentiality of using this very new resource.
I just read an article published on a popular stock photo web site I utilize a lot. It is located at: http://www.istockphoto.com/article_view.php?ID=1518%20%20&isource=EN_PHOTOARTICLE.
The article describes, in soft and funny quips, their take on what it means to be a designer. I laughed, out loud, for several seconds, at the author’s musings. Here’ s summary of their findings, as well as my personal assessment on each point.
1. Spend the majority of time in A: Our Own World or B: Lala Land.
I would catagorize this as a certain TRUTH. (We) have the courage or the burning desire, to be anywhere else. Personally, to be everywhere, simultaneously. For clients, this is a bonus because we can take you or your audience to places they haven’t imagined yet.
2. We see green. TRUTH. (We care for the environment relentlessly.) Basically, we’re all good people.
3. Finding the right image for a project is like finding a million dollars. FALSE. Finding the perfect image for a project is like finding a trillion dollars. And, if we can’t find it, we will create it.
4. We have the attention of a goldfish.
OH! Sorry, I lost my place…oh yes, the attention of a goldfish. (Apologies for that over-used and tired clichéd time-stop.) If we do, in fact, have more on our mind, it is spaced evenly between “command-z” aka “undo,” and “I need a bigger monitor;” or “Bacon,” (in my case, Veggie Thai Rolls). SEMI-TRUTH. I admit that when I work hours-on-end on the same project, I do check the “before” and “after,” constantly analyzing which works best. And, yes, ingest a roll or two, in the process.
5. We’ve trained our brains to think rectangularly.
NOTSOMUCH. Granted, many of us do, but I would surmise that these days, at least half of us (obviously and especially, we package designers) think in 3D—and rectangularly, squarely, cylindrically, etc.
6. We pray for a “Unicorn Deathmatch.” NO COMMENT. I’m climbing off of the Unicorn wagon right now.
7. We see the world in fonts. TRUTH. My ego smiles every time I see the font, “Anastasia”—albeit mostly on diner menus or marquees…. Personally, I spend more time deciding if I want to use a space before and after an em-dash or not.
8. Our schedule is like a that of a night club. TRUTH. Which is one reason we work well internationally. Actually, most of us are ever-accommodating. That, or perfectionists, usually one of the two.
For all that we designers are, we love what we do and hopefully, do it well.
I’ve made a lot of comments on behalf of designers everywhere. If you are a designer (or a member of the general audience) and have more to say, or share, please do!